When should we expect the appearance of "Hunter" in Syria?


The wars in Syria, Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh have convincingly proved that they have a hard time without reconnaissance and strike drones. Of course, these are not "wunderwaffe", and they also have their own control, but UAVs really make a serious contribution to achieving victory. Russia is quite far behind potential adversaries in the development of unmanned aircraft. Some of our "friends and partners" in Israel, Turkey and Azerbaijan even assert that we will not catch up with them in the next thousand years. What is the real situation?


Let's start with the fact that the Soviet Union itself had quite serious competencies in the field of unmanned aircraft. Back in 1974, an operational-tactical reconnaissance Tu-141 "Strizh" took off into the sky. The USSR was so ahead of its time that our UAV was already reactive then. These scouts were in service until 1989, and several copies have survived in the Ukrainian Air Force to this day. Later, in 1990, the Pchela-1T reconnaissance drone was successfully tested, which showed itself quite well in Chechnya in 1995, adjusting the fire of the RSZ and barrel artillery. Thus, the myth of technical backwardness and short-sightedness of "Russian lapotniks" is falling apart by itself.

Unfortunately, then the "dashing nineties" began, when the state did not have enough money not only for development in the field of UAVs, but also for simply refueling equipment. During this period, there was a serious lag behind the United States and its Israeli allies. But at the beginning of the 2003s, the situation gradually began to improve. So, since 2015, the Russian troops have been successfully operating short-range reconnaissance drones "Eleron", developed by the "ENIX" company, and since 2010 - small reconnaissance aircraft "Tachyon" on electric traction. The latter, in particular, are in service with our servicemen in Armenia at the base in Gyumri. In 10, heavier UAVs "Orlan-12" appeared, equipped with XNUMX high-resolution cameras for creating three-dimensional maps of the terrain, which can be used not only for reconnaissance, but also as a fire control and adjustment system. But strike UAVs are of much greater interest to both the military and the general public. And here we now also have something to show.

In 2016, the Kronstadt company from St. Petersburg launched a long-duration medium-altitude drone into the sky, and two years later it was tested in an unarmed configuration under real combat conditions in Syria. The developer has foreseen the possibility of placing on it up to four air-to-surface missiles or several aerial bombs weighing 20 and 50 kilograms with folding wings. The mass of the combat load of the strike UAV reaches 200 kilograms. In terms of its main tactical and technical characteristics, it is in no way inferior to Israeli and Turkish counterparts, and in some ways it is superior. Last year, the Orions entered service with the Russian Defense Ministry, and a few days ago it became known that they had opened their own account, successfully starting to destroy the infrastructure of terrorists in Syria. Sergey Tyugay, deputy chief of unmanned aviation of the main command of the Russian Aerospace Forces, explained on this:

I would like to draw your attention to the accuracy of the application. There are some buildings, structures, objects nearby. But the use of ammunition from our unmanned aerial vehicles goes exactly on target, there are no deviations.


This means that now not only our competitors and potential adversaries will be able to show off colorful pictures of vehicles knocked out by UAVs. But that's not all. Back in Russia, since 2011, work has been underway on the Altair heavy reconnaissance and strike drone, which has turned into Altius. After changing the contractor in 2018, just a year later, a breakthrough occurred in development, and the UAV with a take-off weight of 5 tons, a payload of up to 2 tons and a wingspan of 30 meters made a successful flight in automatic mode. This is a direct competitor to the American MQ-9 Reaper strike drones, but domestic drones equipped with two engines will be able to stay in the air for up to two days. In terms of their combat radius, they are comparable to heavy bombers, but many times cheaper. Military trials of the first "Altius" will take place before the end of this year.


But, perhaps, the most interesting and promising is the heavy attack UAV S-70 Okhotnik developed by Sukhoi. This project should become a real breakthrough for Russia in the field of unmanned aircraft. Constructed from composite materials using stealth technology, the Hunter looks somewhat like an alien ship from science fiction. The wingspan is 19 meters, the maximum speed reaches 1400 km / h, the service ceiling is up to 18 kilometers, the flight range is 6000 kilometers, and the combat load is up to 8 tons. The drone will be equipped with guided missiles, as well as guided and unguided bombs. Due to its large size, powerful radar equipment and a communication system can be placed inside. Integration with the fifth generation Su-57 fighter is also envisaged, which will significantly expand the radar field for effective operations of combat aircraft without entering the enemy's air defense sphere.


The Okhotnik program will help to finally overcome Russia's lagging behind its competitors. The S-70 has already been successfully tested for interaction with the Su-57 fighter. The drone is expected to enter the series in 2024. At the moment, the Chkalov Novosibirsk Aviation Plant is building three more prototypes of the "Hunter", the last of which will be as close as possible to the serial combat vehicle. Probably, this strike UAV will be tested in Syria on terrorist groups. And this should happen before the start of mass production of the UAV. For example, until 2020, it was not known about the tests of the Orion strike drone, while they took place, presumably, in 2018-2019, and the drone went into series only last year. Obviously, we will also learn about the successful tests of the Hunter in combat conditions after the fact - the UAV is a secret development of the Russian defense industry and will definitely arouse genuine interest from NATO scouts if it appears in Syria.

It is quite possible that the Hunter will not be limited to one land version. Recall that the United States already has its own similar to our C-70 attack UAV X-47B. The goal of this Pentagon program was to create a drone capable of being operated on aircraft carriers and controlled by an on-board computer. The Americans learned how to successfully land the X-47B on their decks and even refuel them in the air, but the project was suspended due to the high cost. However, the United States has retained all prototypes and can return to further testing at any time. It is possible that in the future the "Hunters" will be used on two large universal amphibious assault ships under construction in Kerch, which have a chance to eventually turn into light aircraft carriers.
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  1. Cyril Offline Cyril
    Cyril (Kirill) 23 February 2021 15: 12
    0
    Far away 1974 year an operational-tactical reconnaissance Tu-141 "Strizh" took off into the sky. USSR so ahead of timethat our UAV was already reactive then.

    Sergey, I'm sorry, of course, but it's better to check the information before writing an article - in the United States, the AQM-34 reactive reconnaissance UAV was put into service in 1952.

    Moreover, we read the following about the same drone:

    The idea to turn a drone into a bomb carrier dates back to 1953. In the first half of the 1960s, the UAV was successfully equipped to accommodate two air-to-air missiles. The first experiments on the use of the Firebee as a bomber were carried out in 1964, the device took two 81 pound Mk XNUMX bombs and carried out aimed bombing. After that, many different variants of the strike UAV were developed. As part of this program, in 1971, the world's first prototype of the BGM-34A reconnaissance and strike drone was successfully tested, armed with a Maverick ATGM and a Paveway UAB on external hardpoints (initially, this project was developed from the late 1960s to equip the Israel Defense Forces effective and relatively cheap means of combating Soviet anti-aircraft missile units and anti-aircraft artillery in Egypt). The first in world military history, the launch of a guided air-to-surface missile with television guidance from a drone took place on December 14, 1971[1].

    Moreover, the Soviet supersonic jet UAV "Yastreb" was put into service back in 1961.

    In what way was "Strizh" ahead of its time?
    1. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
      Marzhecki (Sergei) 23 February 2021 15: 44
      +1
      Quote: Cyril
      In what way was "Strizh" ahead of its time?

      He was ahead of the show-offs of our Israeli and Turkish friends smile
      1. Cyril Offline Cyril
        Cyril (Kirill) 23 February 2021 15: 58
        0
        The Israeli gentlemen do not say that they were the first to operate drones. They say (and this is an objective truth) that today Israel is one of the leaders in the field of unmanned aviation, and that Russia (which is also objective) is inferior to Israel in this area. In what you see "show-off" here is not entirely clear.
        1. isofat Online isofat
          isofat (isofat) 23 February 2021 16: 27
          -1
          Cyril... With such small human resources of Israel and at the same time greed for foreign territories, this is not surprising. yes
          1. Cyril Offline Cyril
            Cyril (Kirill) 23 February 2021 16: 52
            0
            With such small human resources in Israel

            Just because of their small human resources, the leading positions in the field of unmanned aviation are quite surprising.

            simultaneously with this greed for foreign territories

            It is not clear what kind of greed for foreign territories we are talking about.
            1. isofat Online isofat
              isofat (isofat) 23 February 2021 17: 00
              -1
              Quote: Cyril
              Just because of their small human resources, the leading positions in the field of unmanned aviation are quite surprising.

              I think you clearly wrote my opinion, what is not clear?

              Quote: isofat
              With such small human resources of Israel and at the same time greed for foreign territories, this is not surprising.

              I can add that no one keeps Israel isolated from the achievements of world science and technology, there would be a desire.
              1. Cyril Offline Cyril
                Cyril (Kirill) 23 February 2021 17: 03
                0
                I think you clearly wrote my opinion, what is not clear?

                Everything is not clear. First, how population size and military leadership correlate. Secondly, and here is some kind of greed for foreign territories.

                I can add that no one keeps Israel isolated from the achievements of world science and technology, there would be a desire.

                Well, this is the result of a balanced and far-sighted policy of the country's leadership.
                1. isofat Online isofat
                  isofat (isofat) 23 February 2021 17: 17
                  -2
                  Cyril, let’s not play a fool and try to juggle words. You do not shine in this skill, but I am already tired of your primitiveness. hi
                  1. Cyril Offline Cyril
                    Cyril (Kirill) 23 February 2021 18: 06
                    0
                    let's not play the fool

                    I'm not portraying you.

                    and try to juggle words.

                    There is no juggling with words. There are your indistinct thoughts. What exactly is their indistinctness - I explained very specifically.

                    You do not shine in this skill

                    Yes, in the image of a fool I am a complete layman. Therefore, I am not doing this.

                    and I'm tired of your primitiveness

                    Well, you can't even master a primitive.
  2. olpin51 Offline olpin51
    olpin51 (Oleg Pinegin) 23 February 2021 17: 35
    0
    1400 km / h with a wingspan of 19m and a length of 14m ?????
    It can't be like that. Somehow and how. Someone, weaved something.
  3. Alexander K_2 Offline Alexander K_2
    Alexander K_2 (Alexander K) 23 February 2021 19: 49
    -5
    As life shows, not in Syria, not anywhere else, except in fairy tales, "Hunter" is not able to appear!
  4. It would be nice to experience in Libya!